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Ice, Ice, Baby...more...

Aspen is synonymous with skiing and is recognized as a world class resort town with amazing terrain and amenities. While most relate to the ski experience there is so much more that winter offers in this truly athletic and fitness obsessed town and valley. Ice hockey has very strong roots in Aspen and I would be hard pressed to find a ski resort town or for that matter anywhere south of Canada that offers as much hockey and passion for ice hockey as Aspen. Aspen has two rinks that operate year round. The iconic Ice Garden in downtown Aspen and the beautiful Lewis Arena located in the Aspen Rec Center (ARC) sandwiched by the base of Highlands and Buttermilk's Tiehack lift. You'll also find an outdoor rink behind the ARC. Ice rinks can also be found at Snowmass' Rodeo Lot (near Snowmass Village's Rec Center), Downtown Aspen in front of the Hyatt, as well as locally at the Carbondale Rodeo. A little farther down valley you'll find yet another Rink at the Glenwood Springs Rec Center - home to Grizzly Hockey. In addition to all the rinks in our valley, private rinks are sprouting up everywhere. Who could not enjoy the 'pond experience' with all the amazing views we are blessed with. While there is an abundance of rinks there is also an abundance of programs. Aspen is home to the Aspen Leafs U-20 Junior Hockey team which plays in the competitive Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League. Some of the best under-20 talent in the country comes to play for the Leafs. Aspen High School has a strong Varsity Hockey team and its strength comes from its rich hockey heritage and its strong junior development programs. Aspen Junior hockey hosts a Fall Face off Tournament where over 80 teams come to compete. Aspen Junior Hockey also hosts the Annual Stirling Cup which brings Colorado Avalanche Alumni in to play a number of other NHL alumni. A great fundraiser and a fun time for all. While junior hockey continues to flourish in Aspen, men's and women's hockey certainly does not take a back seat. There are year-round leagues taking place at both arenas starting with the ultra-competitive Men's League following with Rec A, B, and C leagues, ensuring that if you want to play hockey, no matter what your level or ability, there is opportunity for all. Many women join the men in these various leagues and also play for the Aspen Mother Puckers. If you are not interested in league play but want to scrimmage and play some competitive pick-up, no worries. Pretty much every day midweek there is 'nooner' hockey. Amazing how many people can actually play hockey at noon but a quick hour and a half skate and then back to work seems to make for a better day. Skiing will always be 'King' in Aspen, but as we know 'When in Aspen' take advantage of everything it has to offer. So dust your skates off and get out there!

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